A Contrast in Leadership — Dr. Dobson's January 2015 Newsletter

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As you know, a new Congress was installed on the 6th of this month, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Our congressmen and senators are up against a president who seems to lack accountability to anyone. He has overridden the U.S. Constitution repeatedly and in ways that his predecessors would never have dared. When he hasn’t achieved his purposes within the Congress, Obama said he would disregard it and rule with a “pen and a phone.” What incredible arrogance!

Even though Obama was shellacked (his own word) in the elections of 2010 and 2014, he has acted at times like an emperor who has ignored the advice of the Pentagon, his Cabinet, judiciary, and even the leaders of his own party. This is a very dangerous situation. The enormous power invested in the presidency was intended by our Founders to be restrained by a system of checks and balances and constitutional limits. Who knows where President Obama will take this great country in the next two years? He will never face another election, and the Republicans have so far been afraid to challenge his indiscretions.

What we have seen to this point is federal funding for abortions (despite promises to the contrary), amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, open homosexuality in the military, women in every aspect of combat, the undermining of traditional marriage, a steady assault on religious liberty, universal health care and rationing of essential treatment for older Americans, and dozens of other imperious policies. When Barack Obama was a candidate for the highest office in 2008 and after, he promised to “fundamentally transform” this nation. Now we see what he had in mind. History tells us that nations before us have grown weak and faded away, usually related to poor leadership. Is this where our President is leading us?

I would like to devote the rest of this letter to a leader who helped save his nation and the free world, and compare him to our president. I’m referring to Winston S. Churchill, who served for five decades in the British government and was Prime Minister during the challenging and bloody days of World War II. I was a child at the time and heard my father and other adults referring with awe to the man who stood alone against the Nazi menace. I grew up wanting to know more about this indomitable leader. He is still one of my heroes.

I have a wonderful book titled Churchill By Himself, edited by Richard Langworth.[i] It presents 350,000 of Sir Winston’s 15 million published words, including 600 pages of quotations, aphorisms, speeches, letters and papers from his school days at Harrow to his death at his London home in 1965. He was 90 years old.

“Sir Winston” was a prolific reader with a photographic memory, which explains the breadth of his literary genius. Much of it is captured in Churchill By Himself, a compendium of wisdom, wit, history, government and philosophy. What strikes me is how amazingly relevant his perspectives and pronouncements are to our world today. The challenges we face are, in many regards, recycled and repackaged from an earlier era.

That brings me to the point of this letter. Churchill’s recorded and written words stand in stark contrast to the policies and beliefs of the current President of the United States, Barack Obama. They couldn’t be farther apart in most instances. For example, President Obama and his Administration believe that when an economy falters, the government should increase taxes and spend like there is no tomorrow. Doing so will supposedly bring recovery. It is called Keynesian economics, and it never works.

This is what Churchill wrote:

• Can a people tax themselves into prosperity? Can a man stand in a bucket and lift himself up by the handle?[i]

• Taxes are an evil—a necessary evil, but still an evil, and the fewer of them we have the better.[ii]

• When you borrow money from another country for the sacred purpose of national rehabilitation, it is wrong to squander it upon indulgences.[iii]

The third quote seems to condemn the concept of the massive stimulus package, which in the Obama era was funded by loans over a trillion dollars, mostly from China. It was then spent on a shameful array of pork and became a slush fund for Democrats seeking re-election.

How I wish more of the American people and their congressional leaders understood the straightforward principles Sir Winston articulated in these three quotes. It is foolish to believe that a government can solve an economic crisis by taxing and spending itself into prosperity. If that were possible, every poor country in the world would confiscate the financial holdings of its people and waste it on pork, projects, and programs motivated by political power. The predictable end to such wild spending is not national wealth. It is bankruptcy.

That is where President Obama appears to be taking us, as he and his friends in Congress are burning their way through the accumulated wealth, past and present, of the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. The national debt stands now at $18 trillion.[iv] The projected deficit for the next 10 years is another $10 to $11.5 trillion,[v] with a combined national debt of $28 trillion or more by 2023. It was under $6 trillion in the year 2000![vi] Present projections are only the beginning of our economic troubles. Medicare and Social Security are almost broke. Anticipated spending on Cap and Trade to address the global warming myth, and further bailouts, giveaways, and redistributions, are beyond comprehension! All of this spending is on the table. Sadly, we do appear to be on our way to the poorhouse!

Frankly, I shudder to think of what U.S. bankruptcy would mean for international stability. Gone would be America’s ability to defend itself and other democracies against tyranny and subjugation. We live in a dangerous world, where biological, chemical, nuclear, and conventional weapons are proliferating rapidly, and where electromagnetic pulse bombs may already be in the hands of our enemies. Evil dictators, such as those in Iran, have already announced their intention of incinerating the nation of Israel. [vii]America must also be destroyed if those seeking world domination are to have their way. Have we forgotten the lessons of World War II and 9/11 already?

President Obama has repeatedly extended an olive branch to Iran in his attempt to negotiate over the building of nuclear weapons. None dare call it appeasement.

One of my favorite quotes from Churchill follows:

• If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.[viii]

He said in 1934:

• Wars come very suddenly. I have lived through a period when one looked forward, as we do now, with anxiety and uncertainty to what would happen in the future. Suddenly something did happen – tremendous, swift, overpowering, irresistible.[ix]

Only a strong military gives us any hope of survival in such a world. But as we all know, modern militaries are horrendously expensive to develop and maintain, and they cannot be supported by nations in financial ruin. Furthermore, there is little motivation to support our armed forces. Indeed, when the President wanted to demonstrate his fiscal responsibility to the media in 2009, he selected a tiny fraction of the federal budget to be cut. What did he consider expendable? You guessed it. Half of the programs to be eliminated came from the military, including a new jet fighter (F-22), already then-designed and ready for production, and a vital missile defense system.[x] Our military today is below the level maintained in 1939.

A current Military Times survey of 2,300 active-duty troops found morale indicators on the decline in nearly every aspect of military life. Troops report significant lower overall job satisfaction, diminished respect for their superiors, and a declining interest in re-enlistment now compared to just five years ago.

A report from the National Defense Panel, appointed by both the Pentagon and Congress, underlines the danger of Obama’s strategy of slashing defense to fund questionable domestic programs. In short, the Pentagon is being starved of funds. The outlays for defense over the next decade will be slashed by nearly a trillion dollars, which will be an unprecedented weakening of U.S. military might.[xi]

We desperately need another “Winston Churchill” in either political party with the common sense to defend our nation.

Now, let’s review what the Prime Minister had to say about socialism versus free enterprise and capitalism:

• The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.[xii]

• The elimination of the profit motive and of self-interest as a practical guide in the myriad transactions of daily life will restrict, paralyze, and destroy British ingenuity, thrift, contrivance and good housekeeping at every stage in our life and production, and will reduce all our industries from a profit-making to a loss-making process.[xiii]

• Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.[xiv]

• The choice is between two ways of life: between individual liberty and State domination; between concentrations of ownership in the hands of the State and the extension of ownership over the widest number of individuals; between the dead hand of monopoly and the stimulus of competition; between a policy of increasing restraint and a policy of liberating energy and ingenuity; between a policy of leveling down and a policy of opportunity for all to rise upwards from a basic standard.[xv]

• You may try to destroy wealth, and find that all you have done is to increase poverty.[xvi]

• When I see the present Socialist Government denouncing capitalism in all its forms, mocking with derision and contempt the tremendous free enterprise capitalist system on which the mighty production of the United States is founded, I cannot help feeling that as a nation we are not acting honorably or even honestly.[xvii]

Referring to the system of “checks and balances,” which the Founding Fathers incorporated into the Constitution (and that we have lost for now), Churchill said this:

• The British race has always abhorred arbitrary and absolute government in every form. The great men who founded the American constitution expressed this same separation of authority in the strongest and most durable form. Not only did they divide executive, legislative and judicial functions, but also by instituting a federal system they preserved immense and sovereign rights to local communities and by all these means they have maintained—often at some inconvenience—a system of law and liberty under which they thrived and reached the physical and, at this moment, the moral leadership of the world.[xviii]

Churchill’s perspective on Islam:

• The fact that in Mohammedan law, every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property—either as a child, a wife, or a concubine—must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the [Islamic] religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.[xix]

Here is a quote from Churchill about British appeasers, after the decision was made in 1933 not to rearm in response to the Nazi threat. He knew this lack of foresight would lead to war. He wrote:

• It is much better for parties or politicians to be turned out of office than to imperil the life of the nation.[xx]

You might be interested to know how Churchill felt about American journalism. This is how he described it:

• . . . the essence of American journalism is vulgarity divested of truth.[xxi]

• Their best papers write for a class of snotty housemaids and footmen and even the nicest people here have so much vitiated their taste as to appreciate the style.[xxii]

Here are two other prescient statements made by Sir Winston:

• The Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.[xxiii]

• Silly people, and there are many, not only in enemy countries, might discount the force of the United States. Some said they were soft, others that they would never be united. They would fool around at a distance. They would never come to grips. They would never stand bloodletting. Their democracy and system of recurrent elections would paralyze their war horizon to friend or foe. Now we should see the weakness of this numerous but remote, wealthy, and talkative people. But I had studied the American Civil War, fought out to the last desperate inch.[xxiv]

Alas, I have run out of space and time for this discussion. There are hundreds of other quotes that are relevant to our political circumstances. As for the views of Winston Churchill as compared to those of Barack Obama, let me remind you that on Inauguration Day, 2009, one of the first and most telling decisions made by the new president was to send back to the British government a bronze bust of none other than Winston Churchill, thereby insulting our allies from his first day in office.[xxv] Perhaps we now know why. Obama’s and Churchill’s perspectives on the world and on governmental policies are poles apart.

Well, you can see from these words spoken by a very wise man why America has ceased to be the world’s economic leader and has become, instead, a debtor nation. I pray that our new congressional leaders will pull us back from the brink of socialistic ruin, and that the desire to stay in power will not strip them of courage to do what is best for our country. We must also be in prayer about the moral decline that has befallen us. Our spiritual strength is our fortress against evil.

May God’s blessings be on you and on this great nation.

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P.S. Please remember that Family Talk is a listener-supported ministry that needs your financial support.

i Richard M. Langworth, ed. Churchill By Himself. PublicAffairs, 2008
ii Churchill by Himself, p. 387
iii Churchill by Himself, p. 424
iv Churchill by Himself, p. 21
v http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm
vi http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2010/09/17-federal-budget-outlook-auerbach-gale#foot1
vii http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm
viii http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/27/israel.iran,http://www.thejerusalemgiftshop.com/israelinews/iran--middle-east/iranian-threat/712-ahmadinejad-israels-annihilationnear.html
ix Churchill by Himself, p. 186
x Churchill by Himself, p. 187
xi http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/08/obama-budget-cuts-target-military-funding/
xii militarytimes.com/longform/military/e014/12/7/Americas-military-a-force-adrift/1859571/?sf344403
xiii Churchill by Himself, p. 13
xiv Churchill by Himself, p. 394
xv Ibid.
xvi Churchill by Himself, p. 395
xvii Churchill by Himself, p. 29
xviii Churchill by Himself, p. 124
xix Churchill by Himself, p. 127
xx Churchill by Himself, p. 464
xxi Churchill by Himself, p. 167
xxii Churchill by Himself, p. 130
xxiii Churchill by Himself, p. 130
xxiv Churchill by Himself, p. 124
xxv Churchill by Himself, p. 125
xxvi http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/4623148/Barack-Obama-sends-bust-of-Winston-Churchill-on-its-way-back-to-Britain.html

This letter may be reproduced without change and in its entirety for non-commercial and non-political purposes without prior permission from Family Talk. Copyright © 2014 Family Talk. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Printed in the U.S.A. Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk is not affiliated with Focus on the Family.

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